NASCAR’s Michael Waltrip joins Tony Stewart/Ray Evernham SRX series for 2021

Superstar Racing Experience Waltrip
HHP/Harold Hinson
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Two-time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip will join the Superstar Racing Experience, the short-track series being started by Ray Evernham and Tony Stewart.

“This is an awesome opportunity and I’m genuinely excited to get back in a racecar,” Waltrip said in a release.“I still love racing and I still want to compete. SRX is a great platform and all of us want to win. We might have gray hair and maybe even no hair, but when we put that helmet on and go race, the desire and talent is still there. You want to see a show? We’re gonna put on a show.”

Waltrip’s first Cup victory (after a 462-race winless streak) came 20 years ago today in the 2001 Daytona 500. The Fox Sports analyst would win three more times in Cup and also has 11 Xfinity Series victories and a Camping World Truck Series win.

The series, which is expecting to have a dozen drivers, also has Tony StewartHelio CastronevesBobby LabontePaul TracyTony Kanaan, Willy T. RibbsMark WebberBill Elliott, Ernie Francis Jr. and Marco Andretti in its lineup.

SRX was co-founded by NASCAR Hall of Famers Stewart and Evernham and was unveiled last July.

Several drivers have expressed interest in the new circuit, which is modeled on the International Race of Champions (IROC) series that matched drivers from various auto racing disciplines in equally prepared cars for an annual four-race series for 30 years.

Superstar Racing Experience announced its full six-race schedule and track lineup last month. The series will race on six consecutive Saturday nights (8 p.m. ET, CBS) starting on June 12 at Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, Connecticut, and wrapping July 17 at the Nashville Fairgrounds.

Nashville, Knoxville Raceway and Slinger Speedway were added to the series’ slate, joining previously announced Stafford SpeedwayLucas Oil Raceway and Eldora Speedway.

“We all come from a short-track background. I mean, that’s where it all starts,” Waltrip said. “Aero doesn’t matter. You’ve got more horsepower than you can put to the ground. It’s all about what you do behind the wheel. As a driver, that’s all you want.”

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
Align Media
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.